Friday- We haven’t spent time yet in Vienna exactly since all we did was rent a car so I am counting today as day one in Vienna. We had a random day today. We slept in until 9, for one thing, and didn’t have any plan at all made for the day. Morgan decided to knock something off his bucket list and made supper reservations for a Michelin star restaurant called “Apron”here in Vienna. Unfortunately we have hikers clothing and nothing was dressy enough for a nice evening out but we didn’t mind because we decided to hit up some thrift stores. Does it get better than thrifting in Vienna? We spent the morning pilfering and came up with a blazer for Morgan but decided to go to a mall to look for shoes for me since I only have sandals and runners along. We ate lunch in the mall and Madison and I both found a couple things for the evening. We took the train and at 6 exactly we arrived at Apron and were ushered in to a warm, black toned restaurant with stone tabletops and cushy booths. We had the 7-course menu which I will post here.
•Jerusalem Artichoke and Pear with Gruyère, verjus, mustard, and pumpkin seeds
•Scallops with wild asparagus, green strawberries, and ossetra caviar
• Asparagus and Heart with smoked cheese curd, radish, and sorrel
•Arctic Char with carp caviar, celery, and pistachio nuts
•an intermission with popcorn ice cream
•Rabbit with onion, beluga lentils, and XO vinegar
•Lamb Shank with bell pepper dashi, “Beuscherl”, fermentet garlic
•Lamb Heart and Lung with bone broth
•Blanc De Noir with raspberry, rice pudding, “Yuna 37%”
Also, with compliments from the pastry chef, a tree laden with mojito lollipops, churros, and hazelnut chocolates. One of the highlights to me was a butter candle in a brass candle holder that our server lit. There was a gravy vinaigrette at the base of the candle holder and as the butter candle melted it ran down into the vinaigrette, where we then dipped our bread. So cool.
Everything was centered around earth and nature as it was served, from rocks and pottery to leaves and trees. Presentation and service were at the forefront of the evening and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Morgan went to the kitchen afterwards to meet the Michelin star chef and we decided to really splurge and take an Uber back to the apartment. What an incredible evening for any foodie. We thought of James&Jenn and wished you were with us!
Saturday- We went to a market that Vienna is famous for called Naschmarkt. It ended up being 1/3 of a mile long and packed with any kind of foreign spice or food you could ever want and booths full of paintings and embroidery. Think the Turlock sale except everything was vintage and there were priceless paintings that we only dream of finding in thrift stores in the States. Like they were just shoved in boxes and around. I thought Madison was going to have a cow. She was horrified. I mean, we are nerds for cool paintings and here they are just nothing because they’re so common. Anyways we did a lot of sorting and Madi actually came up with one to bring home in her backpack. We had breakfast at the market also, a Viennese breakfast with soft boiled egg, cheese, Viennese bread, and marmalade. Oh and of courrrrse a latte. Then we got tickets out of Vienna and away to Bratislava, Slovakia.
We arrived into Bratislava after an hour bus ride and walked to the Danube River where we sat for awhile admiring the boats and the people. Then we walked to the Main Square in Old Town where a curly haired pianist was playing “Hallelujah” and it was beautiful. Every kind of person was sitting and listening: an older man with a green vest chugging a 2-liter of coke, little children sitting on the steps, families walking. A little farther on a man was producing huge bubbles with a rope and the children were jumping and laughing and bubbles were floating upward in a haze of summer. We got to our hostel, Patio Hostel, and relaxed there.
Some notes: 1. Bratislava is surprisingly up to date. I figured it would be more like Vienna but it’s ahead. 2. McDonald’s here has real flowers on some of the tables. 3. We are averaging 6-8 miles of walking a day. There weren’t many escalators in Vienna so we got a lot more steps in. 4. Way less people here in Bratislava speak English. We literally cannot communicate with most of the people we need to.